The Hand of God?


I assure you I haven’t, all of a sudden, found religion. The God I refer to is not the God of compassion and humanity, but a mythical God of power, destruction, thievery, under-handedness, double standards etc. etc. as has been used by various western powers throughout history.

When those first Christian crusaders marched towards Palestine, under the banner of Pope Urban in August 1096 they believed they were on a quest to liberate Jerusalem from the infidel. In fact, the spur was not devotion to God, but greed. This Pope oversaw the theft of more land, more riches, more ill-gotten gains and terrible bloodshed and carnage.

I speak of the same mythical God who encouraged the British Empire to flex its muscles and impose its will all over the world. From Africa, to the Middle East, to India, the Americas and far flung places, such as New Zealand and, where I sit right now, in Australia where their same God supposedly instructed them to kill, maim, expel and subjugate.

A wise African Chieftain said of those British invaders. “When the British came they had the bible and we had the land. Now we have the bible and they have the land.” The same story was repeated all over the world. You might think that this kind of bloody and unjust crusading has no place in the 21st century. I’m afraid you’re wrong.

Now this same mythical God has miraculously reappeared over the United States of America and installed his chosen representative, Mr Donald Trump, in The White house. It must be true because his Secretary of State, Mr Mike Pompeo said so. On his recent trip to Israel Mr Pompeo said that it is “possible” that President Donald Trump was sent by God to save Israel from Iran. “As a Christian I certainly believe that’s possible,” he stated.

This belief in divine intervention is not a first. White House press secretary Sarah Sanders told a religious television network that God “wanted Donald Trump to become president”.

Unfortunately, the divine hand directing Mr Trump has wreaked havoc, not just on Palestine and the Middle East, but all over the world since he put his finger on the handle of power. He started an economic war with China, with his western allies in Europe, with Canada and with Mexico. He drove the juggernaut of American veto through the UN Security Council and used America’s power to destroy many a UN institution. He withdrew America from UNESCO. He withdrew America from the human rights council. He withdrew America’s cash and support from the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, UNRWA, depriving 5 million Palestinian refugees of their daily bread. He withdrew America’s support from the nuclear agreement with Iran, known as the 5 + 1 signed by his predecessor, Barak Obama and western nations and applied further harsh sanctions on the people of Iran. He authorised the raining of missiles over Syria. He put America’s power behind the Saudi war in Yemen. Lately he is hellbent on destroying Venezuela for no other reason than to put his hands on that country’s minerals and natural resources. Alongside all of this, on December 6 2017, he unilaterally declared Jerusalem as the eternal and united capital of Israel against all international law and convention sending the entire Arab and Muslim world into despair. He despatched his Vice President, evangelical Christian, Mr. Michael Pence to deliver the message and, oh boy, did he deliver.

“The story of Israel”, stated Michael Pence,” is like the story of America. It is a story of an exodus, the journey from persecution to freedom” He went on to speak, reverently, of a “story that shows the power of faith and the promise of hope, sent by ‘Providence’ to build a new Promised Land.”

This ‘Providence’ of which Mr Pence speaks meant genocide for the indigenous inhabitants of America and subjugation and slavery for the Africans transported from their homeland to serve new, white American settlers.

It didn’t stop there. Mr Mike Hagee, founder and chairman of “Christians United For Israel’ spoke, “We Thank you Oh Lord” he orated, “ for President Trump’s courage in acknowledging to the world ‘a truth’ established 3000 years ago that Jerusalem is and always has been the eternal capital of the Jewish People”. This pastor did not have one word of Christian love and compassion us, the Palestinians both Christian and Muslim. His evangelical support of Israel means continued displacement, continued land theft, continued occupation of our land. Was this all ordained by this mythical God of their’s?

Two days ago, Mr Trump’s ever busy hand was extended over the Golan Heights, a Syrian Territory, occupied by Israel since 1967. In a tweet two days ago, the chosen one, Mr Trump, bequeathed the Golan Heights of Syria to Israel; land he doesn’t own nor has any deed or title to.

“After 52 years it is time for the United States to fully recognise Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights, which is of critical strategic and security importance to the State of Israel and regional stability!” – Donald R Trump

Mr Netanyahu, the beleaguered Prime Minister of Israel, who is facing not only an election battle in two weeks time, but also a criminal conviction, received this gift with relish.

“President Trump has recognised Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights and he did it at a time when Iran is trying to use Syria as a platform to attack and destroy Israel.”

Manna from heaven, don’t you think? The records show that both Syria and Iran have not thrown so much as a tennis ball over Israel for over 45 years. On the contrary. Israel is the one which continually attacks Syria. But, as the saying goes, why allow the truth to get in the way of a good story?

Except, this is not a good story. This story spells more chaos and mayhem in the Middle East and gives the far right politicians of the settler, colonial, apartheid state of Israel ‘carte blanche’ to do whatever it wishes to the people and the land of occupied Palestine.

This latest move by Mr Trump is, of course, against many UN Security Council and UN General Assembly resolutions, signed by America declaring the Golan Heights, the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza as Occupied Territories. Dr Bashar Al-Jaafari, the representative of Syria at the UN described this illegal move in one word. ‘Irresponsible’.

Is this what the divine hand of their God has brought us?

Total tyranny?

Total disregard of International Law and Conventions?

Total disregard for human rights and self determination?

Total hegemony of Mammon over civilised behaviour?

If this is their God and their divinity then I want nothing to do with it.

Jafar M Ramini is a Palestinian writer and political analyst, based in London, presently in Perth, Western Australia. He was born in Jenin in 1943 and was five years old when he and his family had to flee the terror of the Urgun and Stern gangs. Justice for the people of Palestine is a life-long commitment.


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